“Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Therefore, this is what the LORD says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.” (Reference: Jeremiah 14:14-15 )
It is tempting, beloved, to continue connecting political people (especially commentators and pundits) to this verse – inferring that they are prophesying what is to come and what should be done. But that would be unfair and mean-spirited, ie not Christian. Instead, I want to highlight the symmetry that they (who Jeremiah is speaking of) are prophesying against the very thing that will happen to them. It is like (but I do not mean it in a mean-spirited way) a weather forecasting that there is no rain in sight, and then stepping outside only to be drenched in a downpour!
But of course, the writer of Jeremiah is speaking of much more serious issues, and the verses previous to these talk about what will happen to the people who have displeased the Divine. “Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
Truly they have loved to wander,
they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them,
now he will remember their iniquity
and punish their sins.
The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people. Although they fast, I do not hear their cry, and although they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I do not accept them; but by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them.” (Verses 10 – 12)
The God of the Old Testament was very strict and at times unforgiving. Imagine, beloved, if we were told in our modern times NOT to pray for someone’s welfare? Even the historic Anabaptists (at least some) said they prayed for their accusers and oppressors that they might see the error of their ways and turn to living the way the historic Anabaptists felt was right. But I am straying from my point. But it raises another interesting analogy. Supposing the oppressors and persecutors of the historic Anabaptists were they themselves accused of heresy and put to death? But beloved, it this very thing that the historic Anabaptists prayed would NOT happen (again, at least some of them). I remembering reading a while back of a historic Anabaptist who spoke such a caution to his accuser – I cannot remember when however.
My plea and admonition to you then, beloved, is to live rightly according to God. Do not prophesy falsely or live apart from God’s commandments and guidance. May your worship of God be heard by our Lord and be found acceptable. Selah!